Fans of the Green Bay Packers and country music superstar Kenny Chesney had the best of both worlds last weekend when the piled into and onto Lambeau Field.
But it wasnt all harmonious and good country fun that prevailed. In fact, Packers officials, while exuberant about the economic shot in the arm the event brought to the organization and the community, were concerned about some of the damage brought to the hallowed ground.
Couple that with reports of fans being thrown out of the venue for various violations – mostly due to drinking and rowdiness – and you’ve got an event that had it’s drawbacks.
But what would one expect? You’ve got country music, alcohol, and a venue that will get people’s hearts pumping – clearly a mixture for good time fun.
The Packers, in scheduling the event last year, surely weighed the pros and cons of hosting a music event at the stadium and came to the conclusion that the benefits outweighed the negatives.
Restaurants, hotels, gas stations and even the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame surely benefitted immensely from the influx of visitors to the area.
Throw in a few drunks who start fights and you’ve got yourself a typical night in Wisconsin. Heck, it kind of sounds like your typical day at Lambeau Field, doesn’t it?
However, it was the concern Packers officials displayed Monday that brought the most attention.
A report by Jeff Alexander of WBAY TV raised the most eyebrows.
“Lambeau Field’s first concert came at a cost, and now crews are trying to fix it,” his report stated.
“The Green Bay Packers say it won’t be until August before they know the true impact the Kenny Chesney concert had on Lambeau Field.
“Greatest concern was the field. We knew it would be affected, and it was — you can see the areas it was — and we knew that,” Aaron Popkey of the Packers public relations department said.
Though the field was protected with a covering, the most concern came in the area where cranes used to erect the stage sat.
Crews as of Monday had already seeded and aerated the field and it was hoped that time and Mother Nature would take over.
“First and foremost this is an NFL facility so we’re going to see how it recovers. Hopefully Mother Nature helps, and then at that point we’ll begin to finish up the evaluation of the concert and see where we want to go in the future,” Popkey said.
If something doesn’t break soon on the collective bargaining front, it all may be a moot point … Let’s just hope that Chesney isn’t the only one playing at Lambeau this year.
If he is, there will be plenty of time for the grass to grow.